Choir students transform cafeteria into winter wonderland, fill with music

Doused in the light of hundreds of candles, the cafeteria wa ready for a night of singing and holiday cheer. With Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, the choir prepared the cafeteria for their Candlelight Nights. Every year, except last year, the cafeteria is transformed into a winter wonderland for Candlelight Night, a fundraising event held by the choir program, consisting of  dinner and a concert.

This event takes a lot of preparation, and this process is heavily led by students. Senior Macey Wyler is one of those students and worked on a few logistical aspects of the event.

“I have been working with the directors to gather donations as they come in and keep track of what we have and what we don’t have yet,” Wyler said. “Currently, I’m working on some of our advertising things like the program, managing the logistical side of food prep for the evening, because we do serve dinner, and just kind of double checking all of the work that Mr. P and Mr. Brown are doing on our program.”

According to Wyler, several other students are helping with these preparations. 

“We have our executive choir counsel,” Wyler said, “Who have kind of been helping us out with that. They’ve been tossing around a lot of ideas and we have some new fun things that audience members won’t recognize from years past, and those are all student ideas that we’re kind of implementing.”

Senior Ella Jones has also been taking part in helping make the night a success. She is helping with decorations.

“I’ve talked to Mr. P about some of the decorations we will do to make all the families have a good environment and just feel comfortable when they’re watching us sing,” Jones said.

Anything winter and holiday related is the theme of the night. According to Jones, it helps to emphasize the season and good feelings.

“We want to bring joy to the holidays because we haven’t had a choir concert in a long time,” Jones said. “It’s just fun to bring back all the memories because with COVID we couldn’t do it.”

According to Jones and Wyler, this is one of the first years where the students have been able to take such a huge part in helping to prepare the night in aspects other than entertainment.

“I think it’s really cool that our directors give us the opportunity to be as involved as Ella, the Executive Choir Council, and I are,” Wyler said. “It really just shows how much they care about student input. A lot of teachers won’t give students the opportunity to be so involved in something similar to this.”

The Directors, Clint Pianalto and Michael Brown, aren’t just letting students simply be a part of these big events, but allowing students to contribute in ways they enjoy.

“It’s really fun because you feel like a part of something I guess,” Jones said. “And it’s just fun to decorate because I’ve always had this love for art and doing stuff like that. So decorating is really fun, especially for the choir because that’s two things I love to do.”

According to Jones, all students participating in Candlelight Night are putting in the effort to make the night the best it can be.

“We’ve all been really participating and trying to do our best and memorize all of our music for Candlelight Night,” Jones said. 

The students expect only good things from the event, as both nights are completely sold out.

“I have no doubt that it will be a success,” Wyler said. “So far, everything’s run super smoothly. We have two very sold out nights, and we added seats, which sold out again. We are starting to gather our speakers for the evening and we have our accompanists, too.”

According to Wyler, the choir is excited for the event and are confident about what they have prepared.

“We’re looking forward to a great two nights,” Wyler said. “It’s gonna be super good.”